Army of volunteers clean county’s coast

Volunteers at Embleton Bay.
Volunteers at Embleton Bay.

A bike, DVD player, traffic cones, cotton buds and hundreds of plastic bottles and balloons – these were just some of the items removed from Northumberland beaches by an army of volunteer litter-pickers.

Environmentally-friendly helpers of all ages turned out across the county to take part in the four-day Great British Beach Clean, which ran from Friday, September 14, to Monday, September 17.

The litter-pickers from Seahouses school. Picture by Coast Care

The litter-pickers from Seahouses school. Picture by Coast Care

Organised beach tidy-ups were staged in communities along the Northumberland coast, with a total of 332 volunteers collecting a whopping 750kg of waste, plus a large amount of scrap metal.

Among those to take part were children from Seahouses Primary School, who thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Equipped with litter-pickers and gloves, the self-named Puffin Force joined staff from the Seahouses-based Coast Care project to tidy local seaside spots.

Year 4 pupil, Rory Thompson, said: “We feel really strongly about keeping our local area litter-free, especially from harmful plastics such as fishing wire and string, so the litter-pick was lots of fun and was also really important.”

Seaton Point beach clean. Picture by Coast Care

Seaton Point beach clean. Picture by Coast Care

Sadie Macfarlane, from Year 6, added: “After learning more about the effects of plastics in the world’s oceans and seas, we just knew we had to take part and try to make a difference.

“I feel really proud of myself and will definitely be looking out for litter whenever I go to the beach in the future.”

Laura Shearer, Coast Care project assistant, said: “It’s wonderful to see local children participating and being part of a national conservation campaign.

“The children were incredibly motivated, enthusiastic and worked hard to help make a real difference to their local area. A big well done to all involved.”

Helpers turned out at Howdiemont Sands.

Helpers turned out at Howdiemont Sands.

Organised by the Marine Conservation Society, the Great British Beach Clean is the biggest beach tidy and survey in the UK.